Dynamically, it's still hugely impressive. As a general rule, SUVs are getting better at mimicking sports cars, and although none - including any F-Pace - will have you completely fooled, this is a Jaguar that's certainly capable of making you smile every bit as much as a Macan or X3 is able to do on the road.
For starters, weight builds immediately off the steering wheel's centre and maintains a confidence-inspiring meat throughout when pushing. In fact, it's nicely judged at all speeds, and as the front wheels grip hard into bends the F-Pace's body remains usefully upright even with its tall stance and on its passive chassis.
Ride quality isn't quite as supple as it was on foreign roads with adaptive dampers fitted, although it remains largely composed. There's a firmness about the way the R-Sport model rolls over potholes and expansions joints that will be irksome to some potential buyers, but it's far from off-putting. Those seeking a more relaxed set-up to go with this more relaxed diesel engine might consider smaller alloys and adaptive dampers.
Not that the 2.0d feels sluggish. Of course, it doesn't have the deep-down heft of the V6 diesel, but there's more than enough flexibility on tap to ensure overtaking and motorway sliproad dashes don't require much in the way of planning. It's a shame that it rattles to life from cold and sounds harsh under load, but at least it smoothes and settles with warmth.
Not surprisingly, the F-Pace's driving position is still good, with plenty of support and adjustment at the seat and a fairly commanding view forward. Two adults will sit behind two of the same with good head and leg room, and the F-Pace's boot is a competitive size and practical shape with very good access.
Also deserving of praise is Jaguar's latest InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, which reacts swiftly to inputs and is intuitive to use. In fact, it's one of the best touchscreen systems we’ve tried, so it's a pity that it's a costly option at £1710. The standard 8.0in system in our UK car is decent enough (although it looks graphically unexceptional) and has DAB radio and sat-nav, but it's that bit slower to respond when you press the screen.
The dash that surrounds it is mostly constructed from plastics that give to the touch, but there's the odd piece of trim and switchgear that looks and feels below par considering the sort of money Jaguar is demanding. Porsche does a slightly better job with its Macan's cabin overall, truth be told, although an X3 gives the impression of a similar level of luxury.